Charitable support and community spirit is fuelling the North Yorkshire Moors Railway’s recovery after a mindless act of vandalism to its historic teak carriages. Less than 24 hours after the devastating incident the popular passenger service has drafted in existing stock to keep the passenger service rolling, and charitable donations of support to help restore the rare carriages are full steam ahead!
Between 10pm on Saturday 22 July 2017 and 7am on Sunday 23 July 2017, historic teak train carriages at NYMR’s Pickering Railway Station’s main car park were vandalised. Windows were smashed and the inside of the carriages were severely damaged.
The beautiful varnished teak carriage set, comprised of eight carriages dating from 1930 to 1950, have regularly appeared in films and television with recent appearances including ‘Downton Abbey’ and the remake of ‘Dad’s Army’. The teak carriages are owned by several groups and individuals and were restored by the London and North Eastern Railway Coach Association (LNERCA – a volunteer run, charitable organisation which restores heritage coaches) which are used and maintained by the NYMR.
Owned and operated by a 10,000-member community-based charitable Trust, the NYMR delights more than 350,000 passengers every year – more than any other heritage railway in the world. Taking visitors on picturesque journeys along an 18-mile railway line aboard steam and heritage diesel trains the railway passes through stunning scenery, from wooded valleys to beautiful countryside, stopping at charming villages and spectacular seaside locations.
Chris Price, NYMR’s general manager said: “We were absolutely devastated to discover the extent of the damage to our precious carriages, lovingly restored and maintained by our dedicated team of volunteers over many years.
“The tireless restoration work will begin again as the entire trust commits to restoring the set to its former glory for the enjoyment of all visitors – we will not let the vandals win.
“We’ve been inundated with pledges of support from our local community and can’t thank everyone enough it means so much at this difficult time. The entire cost of the vandalism is still being assessed and while the carriages are insured, not every expense will be covered.
“There is a lot of work to do to safeguard, preserve and protect these carriages for the future, one plan is a new carriage shed, which will not only protect the coaches from the elements but also future events of this nature. So, all donations are gratefully received and will be used to protect these coaches.”
Police investigating vandalism caused to North York Moors Railway carriages at Pickering have arrested two boys and expect to make further arrests as the investigation continues.
The boys, aged 17 have been released while under investigation.